Over shouts of a few angry community leaders on Friday, President Richard Englert announced Temple University would be the primary sponsor of the North Central Special Services District.
The district is a nonprofit led by community members and university employees who will work to mitigate residents’ longstanding complaints about Temple students devaluing their quality of life in the area near Main Campus.
The district’s board will be responsible for holding students accountable for excessive trash and contracting outside organizations to help reduce it from Oxford Street to Dauphin and Broad Street to 18th. The SSD Board’s five, longtime residents who all live almost directly next to Main Campus will have majority voting power to decide what programming the SSD board will pursue.
The Editorial Board believes the district is the university’s best reparation effort so far for past neglect, especially when the SSD Board’s plan talks of holding individual students accountable for mistreating their neighborhood. We encourage neighbors to begin reporting students through the online platform the district will provide. The university should actually enforce the Student Conduct Code and give academic sanctions to students found disrespecting North Philadelphia, as it hasn’t done in the past.
The Conduct Code offers a few brief sentences about upholding standards for student activity off-campus, but primarily handles violations that are university-related or on Temple’s premises.
This needs to change. Students come to Main Campus to educate themselves and become more informed, valuable citizens. While the university has not yet decided what sanctions a student will face for repeat violations off-campus, maybe their ability to attend the university should be put on hold through academic punishments.
Editor’s note: Kelly Brennan, the managing editor and member of the Editorial Board, wrote the accompanying news story and played no part in the writing or editing of this editorial.